In his best novels, among them “Mariette in Ecstasy” and “Atticus,” Ron Hansen not only devised powerful and well-put-together themes, but ambushed us with phrases of marauding beauty. The collection of stories in “She Loves Me Not” is decidedly uneven, but here and there such phrases come like sudden abductions.
“The Sleepwalker,” a brief sketch, perceptively sets out the feelings and fears of a wife whose once active husband is declining into Alzheimer’s. Then it goes way beyond perception. The time will come when to his wandering mind her reassuring reminders of reality seem like threats. “She is becoming increasingly a stranger invading his littler portion of certainty.”